Love is a Mix Tape

Title:  Love is a Mix Tape
Author: Ron Sheffield
Pages: 240
Pub: Crown Archetype
Genre: Memoir

The Short of It

Music narrates moments in our life.

The Long of It

Rob Sheffield is a mix tape aficionado.  In fact, at one point in his memoir he mentions filling shelves upon shelves with mix tapes and still have boxes left unpacked filled.  Unlike other memoris out there, Rob shares roughly eight years of his life through music.  What makes these eight years so important, give or take? Rob processes the experience of his first true love and her death.  All before the age of thirty.

The Thoughts about It

What appealed to me is what will appeal to anyone else who immediately picks up this book.  The music.  I LOVED making mix tapes.  (And this is buggin’ me, but I’ve always spelt it as mixed tapes am I wrong here?)  I believe that my last mix tape that I officially made was back when I was an undergrad more than ten years ago.  Leading up to my mix tape hiatus (I refuse to say extinction) I had made mix tapes for EVERY occasion.  In fact, I even remember making a mix tape for a long-term boyfriend, a “break up” tape that sorta went through our whole relationship.  In hindsight it wasn’t the best move.  We listened to the tape together and then I was all like, “yeah this isn’t working out so much”.  Live and learn.

S’okay, I grabbed this book because of the music. I only glance-read the back.  I figured it was a romance book with an edge.  I DID NOT realize it was a memoir NOR did I realize that it would be a devastating one at that.

Soulful.  Isn’t that such a pretentious word?  But man is it the only accurate one that I can consider when it comes to reading this.  And really, I rather devoured it; I read it in one night. It only seems obvious that Sheffield’s story would be harrowing than expected because music is a core piece. C’mon, it’s why movies have soundtracks.  Given enough time and energy, I’m sure there is a song that can reflect any moment in one’s life.  Even the ones that we think aren’t so memorable.

I especially enjoyed how seamless the chapters were.  The past was interwoven with the present: we already knew walking into the story that there would be great loss. It was a nice reminder that sometimes the best things in books are nothing more than the process.

And also, this book kinda makes me want to spend a day in my room making mix cds.


  1. I read this one a few years back and I totally agree with you. A wonderful, heartbreaking yet ultimately hopeful read. And it really made me miss making mix CDs (tapes were before my time, I'm afraid :P).

  2. I loved loved loved this memoir!

  3. I thought this one was great. It was so sad, but it wasn't unbearable heavy, it rejoiced in the time they had together.

  4. I always thought it was mixed tapes too :) I've made my hubby a few during our years together, but I 'm pretty sure he thinks I'm way behind the tech times, LOL! I want to read this one.


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